GFW 09 – UCA Rochester
It was now 8 o'clock and while I feared for the students that many of the fashion crowd had hurried home, it seems that there were an equal number of those happy to come out to Earls Court to watch this graduating year and post show I can see why.
Jada Lynton kicked the show off with a rock couture collection of leather bodices and draped jersey fronts. All in black, Jada sent models down in asymmetrically draped leather jackets, well tailored trenches and a flurry of cowl draped pieces. There has been plenty of rock inspired looks this week and this was definitely up there as one of my favourites.
From rock to sports luxe, this has also been another huge trend here at GFW. Susanna Mensah impressed the crowd with a deconstructed look at mens sportswear. There were soft jersey running trousers, paneled hoodies. The all white collection was accented by the block coloured panels, cut into the garments that showed strong construction skills, very important for a graduating student!
Joining Susanna in the sports luxe stakes was Lucy Roberts, who took a more tailored approach. Again the tones were quite muted and pastel shades of dove grey, mauve, blue and khaki created a calming collection. There were silk pleat detailed blouses, full fluted cap sleeves, tailored outerwear and full length and crop trousers, sporting an on trend zip detailed that married the sporty vibe of a track suit with the chic look of the catwalk perfectly. I was particularly fond of the block/square, geometric print, which for me really made the collection stand out.
By collection nine on a Monday night, it's understandable to be feeling drowsy, but the audience were woken up literally by a scream when Amanda Abela sent her looks down the runway. Now whether this shock tactic worked or not remained to be seen, but for me, having music that yells at you is never good. Which was a shame because the actually collection, was, as a whole pretty damn good. I loved the cosmic clashing prints that were hued in orange, yellow, red, blue and white all exploding across the fabric and had all the feel of the McQueen prints from this season. All the dresses, worked the body con look, with the occasional drape, or oversized kimono sleeve to create well cut, slinky, party dresses. The white, draped, leather jackets were simply divine and a site to behold. There has been so much leather this week, but these were truly fabulous.
Barbara Bell continued the positive impression of Rochester with her menswear collection. Interestingly cut trousers, that featured off-centre, diagonal zips and an interesting combination of suiting wool, floral and cordouroy made for a clever collection. I particularly liked the chunky, wine coloured knit and the fine check suits. It had a real British heritage and nostalgia feel that has hasn't been massively channeled this week, so it was nice to have a new dimension.
My final pick for Rochester (there were so many!) has to be Myrto Stamou.. I am a huge fan of jersey and leather, especially in the same garment, it is surprisingly hard to balance the weight of the two together and I thought Myrto did brilliantly. This collection to me, felt like a combination of Ancient Greece and a large sprinkle of futuristic warrior. The cleverly cut, leather bodices, had layered pieces and cut out, that felt quite 'armour' like, while the main dress parts, were beautifully draped jerseys in the most muted of grey, blue, golden tinted creams and mauve. It was simply divine and a personal favourite for the whole day. Roll on tomorrow!
Words: Rivkie Baum
Photography by Gabriel Coreuera Zubillaga